Status quo bias, rationality, and conservatism about value

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many economists and philosophers assume that status quo bias is necessarily irrational. I argue that, in some cases, status quo bias is fully rational. I discuss the rationality of status quo bias on both subjective and objective theories of the rationality of preferences. I argue that subjective theories cannot plausibly condemn this bias as irrational. I then discuss one kind of objective theory, which holds that a conservative bias toward existing things of value is rational. This account can fruitfully explain some compelling aspects of common sense morality, and it may justify status quo bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-476
Number of pages28
JournalEthics
Volume125
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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